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Best young talent to be judged by the best

Best young talent to be judged by the best

A hand-picked selection of 10 of Australia’s best lawyers, business leaders and senior legal figures will be judging the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards.

A hand-picked selection of 10 of Australia’s best lawyers, business leaders and senior legal figures will be judging the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards.

No stranger to Awards ceremonies herself, Maria Polczynski (pictured right) was awarded the prestigious Corporate Lawyer of the Year Award at the ACLA Awards in 2012. Since assuming her current position as the head of group legal at the Bendigo and Adelaide Banks in 2009, Polczynski has established herself as one of Australia’s leading lawyers. The former Henry Davis York partner has been an advocate for flexible work options and alternate fee structures and will be judging the Banking & Finance and Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety categories.

A fellow high profile female general counsel on the judging panel is Betty Ivanoff.

Ivanoff is the group general counsel at the ASX100 company GrainCorp Limited, where she is responsible for the compliance and legal affairs of GrainCorp and its subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, China, Germany, Canada, the UK and the USA.

Fittingly, given the brouhaha surrounding Archer Daniels Midland’s $3 billion bid for GrainCorp, Ivanoff is one of the M&A judges. She is also judging the Energy & Resources category.

Joining Ivanoff in judging the M&A and Energy & Resources categories is one of the heavyweights in the accountancy and business advisory sector.

Lawyers Weekly is delighted to have Jon Adgemis, the partner-in-charge of the M&A group at KPMG, on the judging panel.

Adgemis is one of Australia’s leading M&A experts.

Another high profile figure within a high profile organisation selected as a judge is Craig Pudig.


Pudig is the head of litigation at the Macquarie Group and a director at the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. Prior to his role at Macquarie, Pudig was the Sydney managing partner at Clayton Utz and a partner at Minter Ellison.

Naturally enough, he is one of the Dispute Resolution judges and will also be running his eye over the finalists in the Government category.

Joining Pudig as a judge in the Government category, an inaugural Award for 2014, is one of Australia’s leading voices for meaningful change in the profession.

Kate Ashmor (pictured below), the immediate past-president of Australian Women Lawyers, has been one of the leading legal advocates with regard to issues such as gender diversity, maternity leave and flexible work options. An in-house lawyer with Public Transport Victoria, she will be combining her role as a judge in the Government category with the coveted In-House Award.

Another former high-office holder on the judging panel is Alex Ward. The South Australian barrister was the president of the Law Council of Australia in 2011 and in April 2013 he was appointed as the vice-president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.

Ward will be a judge in the Insurance and Intellectual Property categories.

Ted Dwyer will be joining Ward as the second Intellectual Property judge.

Dwyer became a director with the leading legal process outsourcing company Exigent in November 2013. Previous to this role, Dwyer was a leading legal consultant as the owner of 6 Dimensions and Dwyer Consulting, and was viewed as one of Australia’s foremost experts in providing advice to law firms and in-house teams on profitability, pricing, strategy and work management. He is also considered an expert on China strategies.

Dwyer will also be judging the Banking & Finance Award with Maria Polczynski.

Another outstanding in-house lawyer featured amongst the judges is Alexandra Rose.

Rose is the assistant company-secretary at IAG. Prior to that, she was the general counsel and company secretary at the Benevolent Society. Rose has held a number of senior positions within the profession. She is a former director of the Law Society of NSW and is a non-executive director with JusticeConnect in NSW and Victoria. Rose was also the editor of the ASX100 General Counsel report in 2012, and in 2013, she was awarded the Corporate Counsel of the Year Award at the Lawyers Weekly Law Awards.

Rose is judging the In-House and Insurance categories.

In addition to Government, another new Award category this year is Pro Bono.

Lawyers Weekly is honoured to have two doyens of the profession in John Chisholm and Steve Lancken as the inaugural judges of this Award.

Chisholm is one of Australia’s leading legal consultants. Prior to establishing his own business, John Chisholm Consulting in 2005, he was a managing partner at both Maddocks and Middletons before the latter’s merger with K&L Gates. Chisholm is also a senior fellow of the Verasage Institute, an international think tank devoted to professional firm pricing, leadership and strategy.

Lancken is one of Australia’s dispute resolution experts, having successfully mediated resolutions in over 2000 disputes. In 2013 he left the Trillium Group and founded Negocio Resolutions.

In addition to Pro Bono, Lancken will also be judging Dispute Resolution.

Chisholm is also judging Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety.


Nominations extended

Lawyers Weekly has extended the nomination process until COB Friday 28 March.

There will be no nominations accepted past this date.

You can nominate here using our online nominations system, which allows candidates to log in and log out when compiling their submissions.

The Awards will be held at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Friday 16 May.

To be eligible, you must be under 30 as of midnight on 16 May.


Category judges

A full list of the category judges is below.

The Lawyers Weekly editorial team will select four to six finalists for all of the 10 category Awards.

Three winners for each Award will be selected by the judging panel.

Each Award has two judges. The three category winners for each Award will be the candidates who have the highest combined score from the respective category judges.


Banking & Finance

Ted Dwyer

Maria Polczynski


Dispute Resolution

Craig Pudig

Steve Lancken


Energy & Resources

Jon Adgemis

Betty Ivanoff



Kate Ashmor

Craig Pudig



Kate Ashmor

Alexandra Rose



Alexandra Rose

Alex Ward


Intellectual Property

Ted Dwyer

Alex Ward



Jon Adgemis

Betty Ivanoff


Pro Bono

John Chisholm

Steve Lancken


Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety

John Chisholm

Maria Polczynski


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